Arcata Bicycle Boulevard (ABB)
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A Bicycle Boulevard is a street where all types of vehicles are allowed, however the roadway is modified as needed to enhance bicycle safety and convenience. The modifications are in the form of signage, striping and minor landscape bulb outs. Typically these modifications will also calm traffic and improve bicyclist/pedestrian safety. The bicycle boulevard streets are designed at places where bicycles and cars can equally share the roadway and connect to other bikeways/bicycle routes.
The Arcata Bicycle Boulevard will be mostly on residential streets. Some sections will pass through commercial areas. Additional bicycle lanes are not planned for any bicycle boulevard streets. Bicycle lanes will remain on those streets that had them prior to the Arcata Bicycle Boulevard's construction.
Watch video of the April 10, 2014 neighborhood meeting on the Arcata Bicycle Boulevard.
Purpose and Goals
The Arcata Bicycle Boulevard's purpose is to increase bicycle use as a more viable transportation alternative and to increase awareness of their use through creation and placement of specialized signage, striping and minor, landscaped bulb outs. The ABB will also increase awareness, safety and connectivity for bicycle commuters and the public.
Bicycle boulevards attempt to achieve several goals, a few of which are:
- To discourage non-local motor vehicle traffic and encourage alternative mode of transportation;
- Traffic calming by signage and striping;
- Promote a healthy lifestyle;
- Free-flow travel for bikes by assigning the right-of-way to the bicycle boulevard at intersections wherever possible;
- Increase awareness for automobile drivers;
- Traffic control to help bicycles cross major intersections at 10th and K Streets, 11th and I Streets, and 11th and Q Streets;
- A distinctive look and ambiance to make cyclists aware of the ABB and alert motorists that the street is a priority route for bicyclists;
- Implement the Arcata Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan and increase connectivity; and
- Installation of additional, proposed bicycle parking on these two roadways at popular destinations.
In December 2006, the Public Works Department applied for and received a Caltrans Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA) grant in the amount of $173,612. This grant covered several interrelated elements, including:
- Improvements to create two bicycle boulevards (I Street, from 17th Street to Samoa, and 10th Street from F Street to Q Street, with a jog to J Street from 8th to 10th Street);
- Intersection bicycle comfort studies (conducted in 2008-2009) for future safety improvements to problem intersections;
- Bicycle education and awareness programs, including ongoing support of the Annual Bike Rodeo and Bike to Work Week; and
- Additional bicycle parking in downtown.
To date, most elements of the project have been completed, with the exception of the Arcata Bicycle Boulevard. Out of the total grant received, $170,531 is still available for construction of these boulevards. The conceptual plans for the project have been approved by the Arcata Transportation Safety Committee.
Why a bicycle boulevard? Why I, J and 10th Streets?
- The objectives of the ABB are in line with the City’s General Plan that states:
“Create and maintain a balanced transportation system with choice of bus transit, bicycle, and pedestrian as well as private automobile modes.
Reduce the percentage of trips that are made by automobile and provide the opportunity and facilities to divert trips from automobiles to other modes.”
- Bicycle boulevards have been identified as key projects in the Arcata Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan in 2005 and 2010.
- There are lower traffic volumes on our proposed routes (less than 2,000 vehicles per day on average) and the boulevards are adjacent to 11th and H Streets which are high volume traffic routes.
- The ABB will increase connectivity. On I Street, the ABB will connect Arcata High School to the downtown shopping area and eateries and will terminate at Samoa Boulevard (Highway 255) leading to the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. On J Street, the boulevard will begin at 10th Street and end on 8th Street, where it will jog back to I Street via 8th Street. On 10th Street, the ABB will begin at the Arcata Intermodal Transit Facility and head west through the downtown commercial district towards existing and proposed light industrial and commercial areas. The ABB will terminate on Q and 11th Streets, which, in the future, will connect to a planned pedestrian/bike trail along south Q Street heading toward the Arcata Marsh.
- Currently, there are no bike lanes on these streets and street width constraints limit installation of bike lanes.